We have a saying at our house we call, "Mexican Hot Plate Syndrome." It refers to doing something you know is bad, but you just can't help yourself. I'm sure you've encountered the syndrome at your local Mexican restaurant. It occurs when they deliver a hot-out-of-the-oven plate to your table. The waiter is wearing huge oven mitts and implores you, "Don't touch the plate; it is very hot." So what do you do as soon as he sets it down and turns his back? You sneak out one finger and touch the edge of plate. Yikes! He was right! Dang! This story was all to set up our pretty Tea Time oven mitts project. They contain a hidden layer of Insul-Bright thermal batting between their linen front and lining, so they could certainly pick up a hot plate of enchiladas. However, they would be even more perfect to lift a whistling tea kettle from the stove.
The beautiful natural linen and the Sugar & Spice accent fabric (by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs) were both provided by America's Largest Fabric Store: Fabric Depot. We are so lucky to have this incredible resource right here in our hometown or Portland, Oregon, because they have such a wonderful selection of designer fabric, home décor options, traditional prints, specialty options and more. But, lucky for you, Fabric Depot also sells online and ships all over the world. Thanks also to our pals at Moda for providing our Layer Cake of Lily & Will by Bunny Hill Designs; it's simply one of the sweetest sets of delicate prints we've seen. Originally heralded as a nursery fabric, as you can see, it works wonderfully in this application as well.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Memory Craft 6300)
- Satin Stitch foot (optional)
- Open Toe Quilting Foot with Quilt Bar (optional)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies listed below are for TWO oven mitts; you could make just one, but then your other hand would be sad.
- Two Layer Cake squares (we used just two of the forty-two 10" x 10" squares in a standard pack; if you choose not to use a Layer Cake, you'll need to cut two 10" x 10" squares from your selected fabric - or at least find two scraps of fabric from which to cut your appliqué pieces): we used Lily & Will by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda Fabrics in the Aqua and Brown colorway
- ½ yard of 44-45" wide linen: we used a medium weight natural linen from Fabric Depot
NOTE: Linen often comes in very wide widths. The linen currently available online from Fabric Depot is 55" wide.
- ¼ yard of 44-45" wide coordinating print fabric: we used Sugar & Spice in Sugar Floral White by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs from Fabric Depot
- ½ yard of 44-45" wide lining fabric: we used Moda's Bella Solids in Natural
- ½ yard of 44-45" thermal batting: we used Insul-Bright from The Warm Company
- Fusible/transfer web: we used Wonder Under from Fabric Depot
- Pressing cloth
- All purpose thread to coordinate with fabrics: we used Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP in #6110 Celedon for topstitching
- All purpose thread to accent fabrics for appliqué: we used Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP in #8360 Summer Brown
- Freezer paper (optional)
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Small, sharp scissors for appliqué cutting
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Download and print the Kitchen Tea Time Shapes Template. For this project you'll use the 'Small Teapot' and 'Small Teacup.'
IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Download and print the Oven Mitt Bottom and Oven Mitt Top patterns.
NOTE: As above, each pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out each piece along the solid line and tape together at the points indicated by the arrows.
- Cut FOUR 10" x 13" rectangles from EACH of the following fabrics:
Four from the Insul-Bright
Four from the Linen
Four from the Lining
- From the linen scraps, cut TWO 4" x 1½" rectangles for the hanging loops.
- From the contrasting fabric (Sugar & Spice in our sample), cut TWO 3" x 13" strips.
- Select your two Layer Cake squares (or cut fabric pieces) from which you'll create your appliqués. Set aside.
NOTE: Follow our design or pick and choose your own favorite combination.
- For detailed step-by-step instructions, and options, for preparing your appliqués, see our Tea Time Apron tutorial.
NOTE: As in several of our other Tea Time projects, this oven mitts project includes regular appliqué as well as two small, fussy cut flower motifs from coordinating fabric (the Sugar & Spice in our sample) to be used as 'second level' appliqué accents, one on the teacup and one on the teapot. If you'd like to use this same embellishment, prepare these flowers at the same time as your other appliqués. The Apron tutorial shows them being prepared and applied.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Make four fabric ‘sandwiches' in the following order:
- Place a piece of 10" x 13" linen right side down on your work surface; place a piece of Insul-Bright thermal side down on top of the linen; place a piece of lining wrong side down on top of the Insul-Bright. Repeat to create four sandwiches. Pin each sandwich around the edges as well as some in the middle. The quilting steps are next and you don't want your layers to shift.
- With the linen layer right side up, and using the 13" cut edge as your starting guide, quilt parallel vertical lines 1" apart across the 10" width of each fabric sandwich.
- We used our Janome Open Toe Quilt foot with the quilt bar. The quilt bar runs along your previous stitch line, keeping your new stitch line perfectly parallel. The quilt bar is adjustable so we could adjust to our 1" width. If you do not have a quilt bar option on your machine, you can simply draw lines onto the base to follow.
- Repeat to quilt the remaining three fabric sandwiches.
- Find your assembled Oven Mitt pattern and pin it onto the linen layer of one quilted sandwich. Cut out the mitt pattern through all the layers.
- FLIP OVER the pattern and place it onto the linen layer of another quilted sandwich. Cut out this mitt pattern through all the layers. Flipping the pattern over is very important, otherwise you'll end up with two right hands.
- Repeat to make another pair of mitts.
- Set one pair aside; this pair will be the 'palm side' pair.
- The other pair is the 'back of the hand' pair, which will have the appliqué.
Positioning the appliqués
- We wanted our appliqués to be centered near the top of each mitt. To figure out this positioning, use your parallel lines of quilting to help determine your center point. We placed each appliqué motif approximately 2½" from the top raw edge of the mitt. We floated our teacup up and away from the saucer to give the appearance of someone taking a sip o' tea. Feel free to follow this design or place the teacup directly onto the saucer.
- For detailed step-by-step instructions, and options, for stitching your appliqués, see our Tea Time Apron tutorial. As mentioned above, remember you will first stitch your base appliqué in place and then stitch the second level flower motif appliqué in place.
- Find your two 4" x 1½" hanging loop rectangles. Fold each rectangle in half (so it is now 4" x ¾) and, using a ¼" allowance, stitch along the 4" side of each folded strip.
- Turn right side out through the open ends and press flat.
- Fold the finished strips in half to make a loop and pin one to the inner wrist of each appliquéd mitt. The top of the loop should be approximately 1½" from the top raw edge of the mitt, and the raw edges of the loop should be aligned with the raw edge of the mitt so the loop is facing into the center of the mitt. Machine or hand baste the loops in place close to the raw edge.
- Place the fronts and backs of the two mitts right sides together (linen to linen in our sample), matching all raw edges. Pin around the outside edge, leaving the top open.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the front and back together through all six layers. Double stitch over the hanging loop and the curve from the thumb to the finger area to secure.
- Grade the seam allowance (make one side of the seam allowance slightly smaller than the other) around all curves. Clip the curves and clip into the 'V' of the thumb, but be careful you don't clip the stitching!
Binding the mitt
- Find the two 3" x 13" strips of contrasting fabric (Sugar & Spice in our sample).
- Make a ½" fold along one 13" side and press. Then make a ½" fold on one 3" end and press.
- With the mitt wrong side out, place the right side of the folded strip around the top, aligning the raw edges of the strip and the mitt. Place the folded end of the strip on the back of the mitt close to the seam, then wrap all the way around, finishing by overlapping the raw end of the strip over the folded end. When you fold the binding to the outside of the mitt, this raw end will be encased behind the folded end. Pin well.
- Stitch around the top of the mitt, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Press the binding up and away from the top of the mitt.
- Turn the mitt right side out, and fold the binding down over the mitt's raw edges, concealing them.
- Smooth the binding into place, adjusting the overlap at the back as needed so the binding is nice and flat.
- Topstitch the folded edge of the binding in place. If your machine has a free arm, this is the time to use it.
NOTE: If your machine does not have a free arm, you can hand stitch the binding in place with a slip stitch or a whip stitch .
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever
Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna Sew Fun and the Brother PC-210 Project Runway.